After much consideration, we decided to buy a scooter for Ava. We walk everywhere here, and it wasn't fair to any of us to constantly nag her to keep up. She is so cautious and smart when she's riding, and we watch her closely. Our walks around town are so much better now. After her first day of riding she announced that we all needed scooters so we could keep up with her. Another plus, the scooter will disassemble and come home with us in a trunk (replacing the 6 pounds of brown sugar and 4 pounds of pecans I won't be returning with).
There's snow on them there hills!
I didn't know the mountains surrounding Luzern could be more beautiful, and then the first sprinkling of snow fell.
I'm still waiting for a super clear day to get shots of all the peaks around us, but for now these will have to do.
On Sunday afternoon we walked around to the opposite side of the lake and visited this gorgeous church.
Why can't the skies over the mountains be this clear?
On the regular city blocks Ava stays much closer to us, but on the pedestrian only lake front path we let her go.
Loving the sweater weather
You cannot believe how crisp the air is - off the mountains and then across the lake. Even though there are insane amounts of cigarette smokers, we all breathe so well here.
We can't take a step without encountering another photo op.
My three kids
On Wednesday Cole, Suzan, and I read at the park while the girls played.
I just started my spooky October read - Bram Stroker's Dracula. So far I am loving it. I made a commitment to read only the classics this semester. I finished My Antonia on Tuesday, great read. I can't believe I'm only just now reading it.
Ava showing off her scooter to one of our park friends. (Aunt Sarah, zoom in and see this little one's amber teething necklace. All the teething-age kiddos here wear them.)
After our time at the park we met up with Josh and Tim at the university and headed off for a walk around town.
Remember the line from The Christmas Song that says, "chestnuts roasting on an open fire"? There are vendors selling roasted chestnuts all over town. I've been smelling them for weeks and finally broke down and bought some to try. Ava posed with the mascot of this chestnut hut.
I'm sad to say that, despite my most sincere efforts to enjoy them, I am not a fan. They have the texture of over-cooked boiled eggs, and not a lot of flavor. I thought the addition of some salt once we got home might change my feelings. Nope. None of us liked them. Sad. Give me a pecan any day of the week.
On Friday we headed to Interlaken along one of Switzerland's most beautiful train routes.
The sights were lost on some of us, who preferred watching Olivia for most of the journey.
The morning started out cloudy, but eventually most of the fog burned off.
The lakes look like water in the Caribbean, crystal clear and shimmering turquoise.
How do people who live here get anything done? I would just have my nose pressed against the window all day.
The trees are starting to change colors for fall.
I loved this tree. The top was a vibrant orange and faded into a crisp green toward the bottom.
Once we arrived in Interlaken, we stopped on a bench along the water to eat lunch. This was our view.
It doesn't quite show in the pictures, but between the two darker hills you can see there is an enormous mountain top completely shimmering with snow.
A family shot after lunch
Two of the greediest swans we've ever seen stalked us the entire time we ate lunch. Did you know they make a grunting sound just like a pig?
Josh did his best to keep them in the water and out of our chip bags. Ava found his antics hilarious.
Cole, we've come to find out this week, is not a fan of birds. You can bet that we've harassed him thoroughly about it.
(One of us may or may not have covertly slipped breadcrumbs near his feet to solicit passing pigeons at the park. Mwuahaha!)
Seriously, how cute are these two?
Turning trees and mountain sunshine
Views from the streets of Interlaken
We took a train over to the other side of the town and did a little exploring. Josh decided to sing this song to us, as some of the lyrics sound kind of shady when you sing them in a Texas twang. I have a video of his rendition, but again, this blog is rated G.
You can almost see Fraulein Maria spinning around up there, can't you?
I scouted out a nature reserve that had five cows and six ibex.
Josh scouted out a park that was just a patch of grass with some dog poo.
But Cole and Ava has great attitudes about it all and were able to laugh with us about the lackluster afternoon.
The great thing about Switzerland is that, even when there isn't much to do, there's always lots of beautiful nature to make up for it.
Resting on the way home, actually watching the scenery this time.
See the cloud bank in the distance?
On the ride home, Ava decided to take some pictures with my fancy camera. This was my favorite of the bunch. She posed me this way. See that tiny jar of peanut butter? 8 francs...and it is NOT Jiff quality.
Swelling clouds on the horizon
Some members of the Swiss Army rode the train to Luzern with us. They kept some interesting baggage in the overhead storage area. Some of the boys serving looked like they were younger than Cole.
A farmhouse we passed along the way
One of the many little villages, tucked into the valley
The scenery reminds me of those mini train dioramas that people build in their basements. They can't be real can they? I mean, I'm looking out the train window and I still can't believe it. It seems like if you reached out a finger they would pop and disappear like a soap bubble.
The only way to see the Swiss countryside, nose squished against the glass.
This afternoon Ava helped me cook dinner.
She tore basil into tiny pieces and stirred the pasta sauce.
Later she used a real knife to slice cheese. Such a big girl!
Last night Ava picked Heidi, the short, little golden book version, as her bedtime story. After I finished reading to her she said, "I think we should have a baby sister and name her Heidi Clara." (Clara is Heidi's cousin in the book.) I laughed and sent her to tell Josh and Cole her idea. We all got a kick out of it. It's a cute name, but when you put it together it sounds like "I declare a". I guess the only way we can name any future sisters Heidi Clara is if we change our last name to Thumb War.
To see all of our pictures from this week click here and here.
To see all of our pictures from this week click here and here.